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Archive for the ‘Imperialism’ Category

With a clear green light from the US today, Israel will not be backing down from its military assault on Gaza. With a dozen dead including two children, and many more injured, the attacks have attracted international condemnation, all except for those in the West who have taken to stressing the need for Israel to defend itself from crude home-made and almost completely symbolic rockets. So escalation on yesterday’s blitz should be expected.

In a clear indication that Obama’s re-election means more of the same war-mongering that characterised his first term, Russia Today has reported:

US Ambassador Susan Rice got behind Israel during the UN session, saying that there is no justification “for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are employing against the people of Israel.”

The breathtaking hypocrisy of this statement, as bombs fall on Gaza and shatter the bodies of Palestinians, will not go unnoticed by the rest of the world. The Russia Today report adds:

Netanyahu’s office said that he “deeply appreciated” the president’s support.

I bet he has. It’s nice being able to call on the leader of the most powerful military force in the world just after you’ve committed indiscriminate murder.

In London, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign have called for a demonstration tonight outside the Israeli embassy. Details here.

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A new survey out today reveals that 59% of Israeli Jews would favour a formal apartheid system of Government if the West Bank were to be completely annexed.

Ha’aretz documents the substantial numbers of Israeli Jews who advocate near-total racial separation and legal discrimination:

The majority of the Jewish public, 59 percent, wants preference for Jews over Arabs in admission to jobs in government ministries. Almost half the Jews, 49 percent, want the state to treat Jewish citizens better than Arab ones; 42 percent don’t want to live in the same building with Arabs and 42 percent don’t want their children in the same class with Arab children.

A third of the Jewish public wants a law barring Israeli Arabs from voting for the Knesset and a large majority of 69 percent objects to giving 2.5 million Palestinians the right to vote if Israel annexes the West Bank.

A sweeping 74 percent majority is in favor of separate roads for Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank. A quarter – 24 percent – believe separate roads are “a good situation” and 50 percent believe they are “a necessary situation.”

In what should be a constant rebuke to those who demonise supporters of Palestinian rights for using the rhetoric of apartheid, the report also notes that:

Although the territories have not been annexed, most of the Jewish public (58 percent ) already believes Israel practices apartheid against Arabs. Only 31 percent think such a system is not in force here.

Israeli Jews weren’t born supporting such inhuman policies. They have been conditioned to do so by decades of brutal colonial expansion and aggression conducted in their name.

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Today, a timely anniversary in the lead-up to elections in Venezuela next month, a reminder of the human cost of US interference in Latin America.

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From the Pat Finucane Centre, on Facebook

Today, September 4, marks the 20th anniversary of the murder of Peter Mc Bride in Belfast by two members of the Scots Guards Regiment, James Fisher and Mark Wright. Despite their convictions for the murder of the unarmed teenager in broad daylight both soldiers were allowed to rejoin their regiment having served only three years of their life sentences. One, Mark Wright, was discharged for medical reasons following an shooting injury sustained in Iraq. The other, James Fisher, remains a serving soldier in the British Army.

As Jean Mc Bride deals with the daily consequence of loss and grief she is confronted with the additional agony that the British Government, army and large sections of the British media find it perfectly acceptable that the killer of an unarmed teenager should remain in the British armed forces. No demands in parliament that convicted murderers should be dismissed, no outrage on the Steven Nolan Show on the BBC as has been the case concerning the employment of others with convictions for murder, no demands to change the law as some Unionist politicians have campaigned for… just silence. Peter who ? And Guardsman James Fisher ? Twenty years ago today Wright and Fisher shot Peter in the back. They remained soldiers while in prison awaiting trial. They remained soldiers following their conviction. Fisher remains a soldier today. No outrage to be heard on behalf of an ordinary working class mother from a Catholic area of N. Belfast…just silence.

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My Spanish isn’t great so if anyone can improve on my perhaps shoddy translation please do, but this reads:

In Latin America and Africa there are no poor countries. There are robbed, plundered and exploited countries, but not poor countries.

It reminded me of this quote from Eduardo Galeano in his magnificent Open Veins of Latin America:

Our defeat was always implicit in the victory of others; our wealth has always generated our poverty by nourishing the prosperity of others – the empires and their native overseers. In the colonial and neocolonial alchemy, gold changes into scrap metal and food into poison.

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From the Middle East Monitor:

Reports from the Middle East claim that Egypt’s President Morsi is facing “frightening” pressure not to open the border with the Gaza Strip and thus end the siege. According to the Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai, Egypt’s Information Minister Salah Abdul-Maqsoud said that Morsi intends to do his best, despite the pressure, to open the crossings between his country and Gaza.

Of particular note is fresh confirmation that the new government clearly identifies its position on Hamas as different to that of the Mubarak regime:

Abdul-Maqsoud confirmed that all Palestinian factions are regarded equally by Egypt: “Currently, Egypt stands with all Palestinian factions to work for grasping Palestinian rights, whereas the previous regime stood alongside Fatah only.”

Read the rest of the article here.

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From RT

Fresh US sanctions against Iran, targeting not only the country’s oil industry but also foreign banks have sparked a furore. China warned Washington of a worsening in Sino-American relations, while Iran said the penalties amounted to “military war.”

The new set of sanctions is aimed at forcing Iran to end its supposed development of nuclear arms. The financial penalties will target the Chinese Kunlun bank and the Iraqi Elaf Islamic bank as they have participated in million dollar transactions with Iranian banks and are as such subject to sanctions.

These banks will be cut off from the US economy in an effort to discourage them from doing business with Iran.

“Today’s action makes it clear that we will expose any financial institution, no matter where they are located, that allows the increasingly desperate Iranian regime to retain access to the international financial system,” President Obama said in a statement.

Additionally, Obama ratcheted up the sanctions on Iran’s energy and petrochemical industries, approving sanctions against any entity that tries to purchase Iranian oil from the National Iranian Oil Co. and the Naftiran Intertrade Co.

Furthermore, Congress has agreed on a final sanctions package that will crack down on institutions that ship or insure Iranian cargo. The Senate is expected to vote on the sanctions before the end of the week.

The new penalties sparked a sharp reaction from China who said the US sanctioning of their banks would lead to a worsening of bilateral corporation between the two countries.

(more…)

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